Jacqui (jacqui) wrote,

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This was so cute I had to bid on it. Today is my Mother's eighty-fifth birthday, I think. She was born in 1916, but she has been lying about it since she turned twenty-one. My Mother has had such a fascinating life. She was/is considered beautiful. She had a great body, with naturally platinum blonde hair, blue eyes and big breasts. All of the things that our society has been telling us we are supposed to be in order for men to fall in love with us. She told me more of her stories, stories about men she had known and dated. I guess I've told you this before but I'm always fascinated by her few Howard Hughes stories. So many influential men were in love with her, from Conrad Hilton to the secret billionaire in London whose name I can't really mention. It's no wonder I'm this shadow daughter and feel such a kinship with the daughters of Bette Davis, Lana Turner, Joan Crawford and others. Women whose Mother's lives overshadowed their own, no matter how much they tried to break free, to get out from under the weight of it.

On our trip along the coast, I noticed how many women, over say the age of thirty, were streaking their hair blonde. They all looked like cookie cutout gals. It was weird, there'd be a whole table full of these kind of identical looking women, thin as possible, perfectly manicured nails, tasteful jewelry, subdued makeup, an expensive bag, and the blonde hair. I felt so out of place with my shlumpy overweightness, my brown hair, and whatever dress I had thrown on, no bra, no underwear, no makeup. Most of the time I feel like I just can't be bothered. I understand playing with makeup and hair for fun, to express who you are, or to feel better because you like how you look when you get yourself together however you do. I just don't like feeling I have to put on this costume, this mask, in order to be accepted by the world.

Oh bla bla bla. I wish I had the courage to live as the woman I am inside, all day long. I wish I could make my hair wild and crazy like I do for Burning Man, and then keep it that way, but I live where I was dropped, here in Brentwood, semi-bastion of conservatism, and it's hard enough being stared at for being fat, let alone for having green hair extensions and turquoise dreadlocks. I think my biggest flaw is fear, despite my lifelong struggle against conformity, I have conformed, I have turned down my light in order not to threaten the people around me. Even here it's hard to force myself past this desire to censor what I write, hard not to want to try to control how I am perceived, rather than just be and surrender the outcome.

So here I go, to try to be the presentation of myself, as the daughter my Mother finds semi-acceptable. She has told me to wear the dress I wore to my Father's funeral and that will sure be cheery. I will have to wear a bra and makeup and "pretty" shoes, yuck. Beau is a whole other drama entirely. He is so wonderfully unique, he only cares about clothes in terms of their comfort and maybe a bit about what his friends might think of him, but the funniest thing is how he alters them to go with whatever he's currently into. Like last night when he came into my office wearing his sweats that he had cut the pockets off of, so he could make these kind of bands of fabric that ran down the back of his shirt, that served as his sword holder. Then he put on this chain mail shirt I had bought for him on Ebay (he's really into his playstation games so I think that's where all of this kind of medieval swordplay stuff is coming from), tied a dusty pink sheet around his shoulders for a cape, and put a helmet thing on. He would gladly go to my Mother's birthday tea looking just like that. It's sad that I don't have the courage to let him. It's her birthday and I feel like we should try to make her happy, so this means, trying to look nice, and that means running around trying to find something for Beau to wear. Yuck.


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